PhD defence about artificial reproduction of eel

Thursday 21 Sep 17

Contact

Filipa da Silva
PhD student
DTU Aqua

Time & Place

Time
Monday 25 September 2017
at 1:00 p.m.

Place
DTU
Kemitorvet
Building 202, Meeting Room 1005
2800 Kgs. Lyngby

The thesis

A copy of the thesis is available to read at DTU Aqua. Please, contact PhD Secretary Rikke Hansen, rikh@aqua.dtu.dk

PhD Student Filipa da Silva, DTU Aqua has investigated factors influencing the maturational response of European female eels to hormonal treatments and resulting egg quality. On 25 September 2017 she will defend her thesis 

The European eel has a particularly enigmatic life-cycle. One of its most unique features is the more than 5000 km separating the growth areas in Europe and North Africa from the spawning grounds in the Sargasso Sea. Even more puzzling is the fact that naturally matured eels have never been caught and thus, spawning in the wild has never been observed. 

Eels do not mature spontaneously in captivity and gonad development is induced by the application of exogenous hormones. In female eels, induction of egg production involves a long-term hormonal treatment.

Recent progress in techniques for induction of maturation and fertilization of the eggs has enabled the production of many viable eggs and yolk-sac larvae that are able of exogenous feeding. The present PhD thesis has contributed to this progress by addressing some of the challenges commonly associated with the induction of female maturation and egg quality. These challenges were addressed by working with both cultured and wild female eels, testing different broodstock diets and hormonal treatments, and identifying possible factors associated with egg quality.

About the defence

Monday 25 September 2017 Filipa da Silva will defend her PhD thesis "Female nutrition and assisted reproduction in European eel: influences on oogenesis and egg quality". The defence takes place at 1:00 pm at DTU, Kemitorvet, 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Building 202, Meeting Room 1005. 

Supervisors

  • Principal supervisor: Senior Researcher Jonna Tomkiewicz, DTU Aqua
  • Co supervisors: Senior Researcher Josianne Støttrup, DTU Aqua and Professor Elin Kjørsvik, NTNU, Norway

Examiners

  • Senior Researcher Jakob Hemmer Hansen, DTU Aqua
  • Professor Kristin Hamre, University of Bergen, Norway
  • Director Hanna Rosenfeld, Israel Oceanographic & Limnological Research Ltd., Israel

 

Abstract of the thesis

The European eel (Anguilla anguilla) has a particularly enigmatic life-cycle. One of its most unique features is the 5000 to 6000 km separating the growth areas in Europe and North Africa from the spawning grounds in the Sargasso Sea. Even more puzzling is the fact that naturally matured eels have never been caught and thus, spawning in the wild has never been observed. Because sexual maturation is blocked until the silvering phase and start of spawning migration, eels do not mature spontaneously in captivity and gonad development is induced by the application of exogenous hormones. In female eels, induction of egg production involves a long-term hormonal treatment.

Recent progress in techniques for induction of maturation and fertilization of the eggs has enabled the production of many viable eggs and yolk-sac larvae that are able of exogenous feeding. The present studies have contributed to this progress by addressing some of the challenges commonly associated with the induction of female maturation and egg quality. The main objectives of this PhD study were to improve female response to hormonal treatments and resulting egg quality. These challenges were addressed by working with both cultured and wild female eels, testing different broodstock diets and hormonal treatments, and identifying possible factors associated with egg quality.

The results showed that dietary fatty acid composition has a significant influence on ovarian development in response to hormonal treatments. During oocyte maturation and ovulation, the expression of hormone receptors at the time SPE and DHP were administrated differed between high and low egg quality groups. It appears that a mismatch between hormone receptor expression and the administration of SPE and DHP may be determinant for acquisition of oocyte developmental competence. Moreover, lipid analysis of eggs obtained from wild-caught female eels showed that the level of most fatty acids were similar between high and low quality eggs. Additionally, levels of essential fatty acids were considerable different from those reported elsewhere for cultured European female eel. Experiments part of this PhD project resulted in a high number of high quality eggs which enabled us to determine the relation between oocyte stage at the time oocyte maturation and ovulation are induced, and egg quality for the first time. As a result, we presented improved guidelines to induce oocyte maturation and ovulation, based on a lipid dropletbased oocyte maturation scale, which may result in an increase in production of viable European eel eggs.

Overall, this PhD project contributed to the development of assisted reproduction procedures by providing new and valuable knowledge abou t the factors influencing the maturational response of European female eels to hormonal treatments and resulting egg quality.

http://www.aqua.dtu.dk/english/news/nyhed?id=70728C11-C8D1-4D52-9E0B-7084C6BDFC4D
19 OCTOBER 2017